Consular Adjudicator Jobs Posted!

May 25, 2011

The Consular Adjudicator jobs are now posted on USAJobs.gov for China and Brazil!

Salary range is $30K-$60K.

APPLY, APPLY, APPLY!

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Hiring Mandarin and Portugese Speakers!

May 25, 2011

Great news!  The State Department is hiring U.S. citizens who speak Mandarin and Portugese to be full-fledged Consular Officers!

The link to apply is here.

(Update: Again in typical State Department style, when you click “Apply Now” you’ll be taken to the USAJOBS.gov search page and not the actual job announcement. And no search term seems to bring up the actual job announcement.  Stay tuned for when this job actually gets posted on USAJobs.)

In typical State Department fashion, they’ve done a dreadful job of making this easy to find so I hope this post goes out to as many people as possible.

Program details in summary:

  • This is a pilot program. I believe this is the first time the Department is ever doing this. Kudos to them for thinking outside the box!
  • The Department is looking to hire about 20 people through this program to start working in 2012 in China or Brazil.
  • Not intended as a “back door” into the Foreign Service, but BOY, what a great experience to put on your resume for when you DO apply through the FSOT and FSOA!
  • A job would be on a limited time basis, 13 months to begin, with a possible contract renewal for up to five years, depending on your performance and the needs of the Service.
  • To apply, submit an online application and supporting documentation including a supplementary questionnaire, narrative biography, and college transcripts
  • You have to have a (2/1) in Mandarin or (3/3) in Portuguese. If you don’t know your language skill level, the Department will likely test you to find out.

This is a RARE opportunity, I’ve never seen anything like this.  I highly encourage anyone who speaks Mandarin and Portugese to APPLY, APPLY, APPLY!!!


Be Careful What You Wish For…

May 25, 2011

Because you might get it.

You’ve passed the FSOT or you’ve recieved an appointment as a Foreign Service Specialist. Now you’re poised to dive into the work and lifestyle of a diplomat. But not all is quiet in Eden, you may be in for a challenging 20-year career, juggling life with work.

An excellent article about the realities of Foreign Service life-work in the latest (May 2011) edition of the Foreign Service Journal sheds considerable and accurate light on life in the foreign service. In The Foreign Service Juggling Act, writer Shawn Zeller touches on the full range of life-work challenge.

A few excerpts below:

It would be an understatement to say that a career in the Foreign Service poses some challenges to a healthy work-life balance. One need only think back to the hectic evacuation of American diplomats from Egypt in February. Or consider the yearly exercise to find volunteers to leave their families behind to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan.

On the work culture:

The Foreign Service culture is very work-focused and hard-driving, so the kind of people who work in its system “are intelligent, competitive people who have a natural tendency to be workaholics,” Hirsch says. “All of this urging to balance work and life does not mean that most people do so. In fact, the vast majority of Foreign Service officers — particularly those overseas — work long days, frequently go into the office on weekends and find very little time for themselves.”

On friendships:

Foreign Service employees spend a lot of time together and, ideally, that can lead to close friendships. But they aren’t easy to keep up. As Hirsch says, “Some people I’ve known for 30 years and consider very good friends, but I may not see them for five or six years at a time.”

On spouses:

A spouse who loves adventure and travel can be a Foreign Service employee’s savior when times are tough. But just as often, family issues can pose the most significant challenges for Foreign Service employees. A spouse or partner who expects everything overseas to be as easy as it is back home can make an employee’s life harder…There’s no getting around the fact, Foreign Service employees say, that spouses make huge sacrifices to allow their husbands and wives to serve abroad. Unless their employers are unusually flexible, they experience high levels of unemployment.

On “tandem” couples (where both spouses are FSO’s):

A year ago, AFSA [American Foreign Service Association] surveyed members and found tandem couples deeply divided over the department’s support for them. Four in 10 said they were satisfied, but three in 10 were extremely dissatisfied.

On children:

The State Department does wonders, many employees acknowledge, to ensure that Foreign Service children are well cared for and educated. In addition, Foreign Service life does, in some parts of the world, allow for the hiring of domestic help, which can ease a family’s burdens immensely. But the sacrifices can still be sad.


I Want to be an Aid Worker

May 22, 2011

By-Pass the FSOT (Part 2): The Mustang Program

May 18, 2011

Aside from student fellowships, there is another way of by-passing the FSOT: by way of the Mustang Program.

What is the Mustang Program?

It’s a program that gives Civil Service (CS) employees and Foreign Service Specialists (FSS) the chance to apply and become FSO’s without having to take the FSOT.  CS and FSS employees in the State Department are welcome to apply to any of the five Generalist cones: Management, Consular, Economic, Political or Public Diplomacy.

By-Pass the FSOT

But keep in mind, if you’re selected to be an FSO through the Mustang Program, you can by-pass the FSOT but you still need to take the Foreign Service Oral Assessment (FSOA)!  Also, this assumes you meet medical requirements, clear security background check, and have spent at least three years as a CS or FSS employee, among other criteria (to be revealed at a later date).

Get into State FIRST, then prep for the FSOT:

The beauty of this option is that  if you get into State Department as CS or FSS, the pressure to get a job in foreign affairs is taken off you and you can prepre for the FSOT at your leisure (that is if you’re still set on being an FS Generalist).

Failed the FSOT? No Fear!

So if you failed the FSOT, no fear, you can still get your foot in the State Department door through CS and FSS programs and still have a shot at becoming an FSO through the Mustang Program.

If you have more questions about the program, leave a comment and I’ll answer any questions.


Apply for the 2012 Spring Student Internship Program

May 15, 2011

Student Interns

NOTE: This is a DIRECT gateway to becoming a Foreign Service Generalist at the State Department and allows the opportunity of by-passing the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT).  See the link under “Professional Fellowships” for details.

The State Department is now accepting applications for the U.S. Department of State’s 2012 Spring Student Internship Program.

Click here for more information and to start the online application process. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is July 01, 2011.

You must be a U.S. Citizen and a student (a full- or part-time continuing college or university junior, or graduate student – including graduating seniors intending to go on to graduate school) to be eligible. Please read the program description and vacancy announcement for more information and for all requirements and qualifications.


Accepting applications for Foreign Service Medical/Health positions (Physicians and Psychiatrists)

May 15, 2011

Physicians and Psychiatrists

The State Department is accepting applications for the following Foreign Service Medical/Health positions. Please click on a link below to view the vacancy, learn more about qualifications and requirements, and to start the application process.

Foreign Service Regional Medical Officers (RMO)

Foreign Service Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrists (RMO/P)

The deadline to submit completed applications for these positions is June 13, 2011.

Please note that applicants must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 21 and 59 and able to qualify for a top secret security clearance. Applicants must also be willing to serve worldwide.